On a day where grey skies hide the passing hours until dark, there are songs that carry a certain atmosphere and timeless sombre romanticism whose catharsis is always a welcome respite to the most persistent melancholy.
Such is the case with the post-punk/post-wave ensemble, Permafrost, a band featuring four Norwegians (Frode Heggdal Larsen – guitar, Kåre Steinsbu – vocals, Robert Heggdal – bass, Trond Tornes – drums, and a well-known gentleman from Basildon named Daryl Bamonte on keys.
Check out the track Kingdom below:
Permafrost’s sound is distinct, like if The Cure went on a Scandinavian expedition to the Arctic, and Robert Smith was finally able to transform into that Polar Bear he had so desired to become—which is not too far from how the band describes themselves in their blog post regarding their new EP:
“If rock & roll was a city, the band Permafrost would live in a house in the darker part of town – but still in a fairly clean neighbourhood. Just across the street you will find the houses of bands like LCD Sound System, Gang of Four, Television and Savages. Further down the street you will walk past the houses of The Cure, Joy Division, Interpol and DIIV. The house of Permafrost would probably not be in the darkest end of the street – and the band might invite you to nice barbecue parties in the garden in the summer.
Down in the wet and cold basement you will find the bassist and the drummer. The melodic bass lines and the desperate drums are the core of Permafrost. The whole building shakes. The neighbourhood dances and the neighbourhood smiles – all night.
Upstairs there is a nicer living room with a good ceiling height – or more precisely; it is a combination of living room and a large library. You will find books from floor to ceiling and experimental paintings on the walls. At first glance it seems nice and cosy, and the fireplace gives some light to the darker corners of the room. But you haven’t spent much time in the living room before you get a nasty feeling that someone has died in there. It is in this room that you find the guitarist and keyboardist. They both seem to know they will be the next victims. They play as if it’s their last chance to be heard. They play loud & efficiently – to make sure everyone understands that they are in danger and need help.
From a room on the second floor you hear what you think is a dancing grizzly bear – who dances alone. However, it is not. It’s the vocalist in Permafrost. He is standing out on the balcony, leaning dangerously far beyond the railing and singing. He sings in a kind of dark yet happy melancholy style, to all of the people who pass by in the street below. Those people who are reluctantly heading for the darker part of the neighbourhood. If you like Permafrost’s neighbours – you’ll love Permafrost.
From early eighties post-punk, so authentic that the band’s first recording – the cassette ‘Good Ment’ – is actually from that time, Permafrost has been resurrected several times until it found its present form in 2016. The self-titled EP was recorded the same year in Braund studios in Greenpoint, Brooklyn NY.”